Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Northport Woman Scores Big on "Wheel of Fortune"

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Northport Woman Scores Big on "Wheel of Fortune"

Article excerpt

A Northport woman won Friday night's episode of "Wheel of Fortune," outperforming the other two contestants to snag a little over $24,000 in cash by correctly solving five fill-in-the-blank puzzles.

Anisa Hunter, 45, competed for prizes on the popular syndicated game show that rewards players for solving word puzzles similar to hangman. She correctly guessed phrases such as "birthday celebration" and "I do not like green eggs and ham" on five separate puzzles to win the most money of the three contestants.

"It just feels surreal," she said. "It was a dream of mine. I've been watching it since I was a young kid with my grandma."

The contestants competed by spinning the eponymous wheel, which determines the value of the prize, calling out letters and buying vowels to fill in blanks in the incomplete phrase before guessing the complete phrase.

Hunter, who works at Wells Fargo in Northport, won two of the three "toss-ups," puzzles that pit contestants against each other in a race to be the first to guess the phrase. She also correctly guessed three of her four individual puzzles, bringing her total up to $24,497 and winning a weeklong trip for two to Orlando, Fla.

One of the other contestants won about $15,000 and the other won about $3,000, she said.

She lost the bonus round, which was reserved at the end for the winning contestant, but she said she is not disappointed in her performance.

"It's a matter of luck and skill, and it all fell into place," she said. "I'm pretty happy with that."

She said she plans to set aside her winnings for savings and for her children's' college fund, as well as to buy furniture for her new house.

Hunter flew to Culver City, Calif., on Aug. 3 for the taping of the show, which aired at 6:30 p.m. Friday. It was an all-day affair, she said. The episode Hunter participated in was one of six being filmed that day. She mingled with people from all over the country as, in groups of six, they filmed and then watched the others film in front of a studio audience.

"It was exciting to be there in the studio, the place that I watch almost every night at 6:30," she said. "Now I can watch it and say I was right there. …

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